No 2008-lookback/2009-lookahead relating to IT can avoid mentioning green. There is even a Web site, Greener Computing. I won't pretend I spent a lot of time studying the issue, but it sure looks to me like the ultimate in buzzword blah-blah.
I call something buzzword blah-blah (or bleep-bleep, if you prefer the Gov. Blagojevich method) when two buzzwords are combined. So virtualization (already an overhyped buzzword) is green. Digitization is green (of course not printing things out has efficiency benefits). Supercomputing is green (because we need fewer non-super computers I guess). Web 2.0 is green (I like not having to fly somewhere to run a seminar). By this logic, I cannot think of anything in IT that would not be green.
But these guys are also saying "Sometimes bad news can be good news: The economic meltdown may be the best thing that ever happened to Green IT." Tell that to a laid-off UAW member.
Most of what I read on the subject is common sense. For example, a recent Forrester report draws the common-sense conclusion that the "central value of green IT programs - greener IT also means saving money - is taking hold among corporate IT practioners." OK, IT managers and staffs are going to do everything they can to save money in 2009. I think you did that in the boom years of 1997-1999 also and during the dark days of 2002, as well.
Was it "green IT" back in the day when some of my friends got summer jobs at the Western Electric factory in Andover busting up teletype machines with sledge hammers to reclaim the gold? I may have the manufacturer, the machine and the mineral mixed up, but I remember it was to reclaim some precious metal. Do we really need to get Congress involved?